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ribs are kicking my tail

ChainsmokerChainsmoker Posts: 106
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I am frustrated! Today I tried ribs for the third time on the BGE. The set-up was a pizza stone(no platesetter for the large) on one grid and the ribs on a raised grid with a drip pan in between. There was about an inch maybe an inch and a half between the stone and the fire ring. The temp ranged 300-350 and they cooked about five hours. They were charred on the outside but they were still pretty tender. Also, a little dry. I know sugar in a rub burns but I don't know how they could be that burnt with such a small gap for the heat and smoke to escape. There was no direct cooking. I was not very happy with the end result. I want better ribs. They cost too much for a lot of experimenting just to end up in the trash. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I have been on several of y'alls websites, Tim M's and TNW's, but I still don't know where I'm going wrong. Oh yeah, they were babybacks.
frustrated with a broken pizza stone,
Ryan

Comments

  • ZekeZeke Posts: 90
    ribs.jpg
    <p />chainsmoker. This is an old photo of my typical ribs. I will cook the ribs b/w 4-5 hours at 250°. The first 3 hours are indirect while hour 4 is wrapped in aluminum foil. If the ribs are falling off the bone after the hour in the foil, I'll cook direct for 20 minutes basting with my favorite sauce up to an additional 60 minutes only if necessary.

  • Zeke,
    Those look good. Is that all you cook at one time?
    Ryan

  • chainsmoker, Sorry man, I feel your pain. Being a relatively new egger, I too have read, listened and been to the sites of many of the kind folks on this forum. Cooked ribs twice with mixed results. However, my last rib cook went great. Used the 3-1-1 method on babybacks from Sam's. Brushed them with olive oil, hit them with some (okay alot) dry rub, wrapped in plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge over night. Loaded up the Egg with BGE lump, four hickory chunks the size of my fist and one mesquite chunk - diamond pattern with hickory at 4 corners and mesquite in the middle. Sent 18 months living in TX and can't get the flavor of mesquite out of my tastebuds - good thing I like mesquite. LOL! Fired up the egg - using the Redi-Check got the grill temp to 230 & dome temp read 270. Cooked them indirect (plate setter & drip pan under the V rack) for three hours; wrapped them in foil, put them back on for about 1 hour 15 mins (still indirect); then pulled out the plate setter, drip pan & V rack and went direct for about 30 to 45 mins at about 400 - turning them every 10 mins or so. They were almost falling off the bone as I was turning them. I like going direct at the end. It gives the ribs just a little char for added texture. Use good judgement - go direct for a shorter period of time or at lower temp so you don't burn the ribs. I heated up two different tomato based Q dipping sauces (one medium & one hot-both added a little Markers Mark in them - yum) and served it with the ribs. When I brought the rib plate in my guests told me I had way to many ribs, but in the end all I had was an empty serving plate and rave reviews. Got to love it! Keep trying, you'll hit you stride... Joe

  • BrettBrett Posts: 56
    chainsmoker,[p]It sounds like you they are overdone due to spending too much time in their at too high a heat.
    My advice is to lose the high temperatures and do a real low-n-slow on your ribs next time. Try it at about 230-250 dome temp all the way through the cook. It will take longer (mine take 6-8 hours generally), but it will be worth it. The ribs are done when the have a nice "flop" to them when you pick them up with tongs. They will flop, but will not break apart. [p]There are other good methods for making great ribs, some with higher temps, but this is what works for me. [p]Brett

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Did you use a rib rack or lay them flat on the grill? I do ribs at those temps all the time using a platesetter, drip pan, and rib rack. They come out great. I mostly do spares because I like them better. Baby backs have less fat, so you'll have to take that into account. You probably are using a rub with too much sugar, also. Even though you are cooking indirect, anything above 275° or so will carmelize the sugar in short order.[p]Jim
  • JSlot,
    You don't do them at that temp for 5 hours, though, right? I think the document you sent me said you start thinking about pulling them at 3 hours?[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • chainsmoker,
    I think you cooked them too long for that temp. I would think 3-4 hours at the most at 350. If you do them 5 hours, you would want to be below 300. Also, did you foil them for any of the five hours?[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Correct, Doug. The time should be adjusted down accordingly. My spares average about 3 hours and I think the last time I did baby backs they were in the 2½ hour range.[p]Jim
  • JimEJimE Posts: 158
    Zeke,
    One question. When you wrap in foil are they still indirect?

  • chainsmoker,
    Way too hot. Try 220-240 for 5-6 hours. Low and slow. At 350 for 4 hours, I can imagine how the ribs turned out.

  • chainsmoker,[p]Don't you know you need to boil them first? :) Just kidding. Like others said, try a lower temp (200-250) for at least five hours.
  • BluesnBBQ,
    I don't want to cause an uproar or nuttin', but I can't help but wonder about putting a rub on some ribs, vacuum seal in my handy Foodsaver, then in the frig for a day. Sit down, cause you guessed it, boil in the sealed bag for some unknown amount of time, then in the egg for another unknown amount of time. Meat in boiling water is not a nice thought, but in the sealed bag where the rub is penitrating - I might see it.[p]I know, I know, "why would you want to do it?" It's just a thought, that's all - haven't tried it. Any thoughts out there?

  • BordersBorders Posts: 665
    WilliamH,
    You make the best case for boiling ribs that I've seen. Where's the flavor gonna go if it's sealed? The "boiling ribs" concept has always led me to conlude that I just wanted my grill at boiling temps, ie low-n-slow.
    I dont have a foodsaver, but I'd like to hear you try your experiment. I'd start with a minimal boiling time.

  • BordersBorders Posts: 665
    Zeke,
    What kind of ribs? They're purty

  • Borders,
    I'm getting ready to leave town. So, won't be able to try it for awhile. I can't help but think they would be good, but who knows until you try, right? You might be able to just slap them on the grill, no racks, etc.[p]William

  • JSlot,
    I put them on the grid kinda stacked and rotated them about every 45mins. I'm a little confused about the posts between you and TNW. If I understand, you do indirect with a rib rack @ 350 for about 2 1/2 hrs. for babybacks. Is that right?
    Ryan

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Yes, that's correct. You have to keep a fairly close eye on them when they get close to done. I start checking them at about the 2 hour mark. This method makes a really nice crust. If you are going to apply sauce, shut the Egg down completely and baste with sauce every 5 minutes 3-4 times. [p]Jim
  • WilliamH,[p]It sounds like an interesting experiment, but I doubt the texture of the meat will be anything like barbecuing them low and slow.[p]Let us know how it turns out.
  • BluesnBBQ,
    It should be interesting. I'll let you know.[p]William

  • ZekeZeke Posts: 90
    Borders et. all. After the ribs are cooked in the foil, they are still cooked indirect. On the day I cooked those, I made a rack of spare ribs and a rack of baby backs. I should make more when I cook but there is only me and the wifey.

  • PCO3PCO3 Posts: 50
    chainsmoker,
    Try this: 1) Use that same setup except cook for 3 hours at 225 - 250 F for 3 hours, 2) Take ribs off and liberally slather in your favorite BBQ sauce, wrap and seal in heavy duty alum foil, 3) put alum pkgs back on grill for 2 hours. Take off and you will have very good fall off the bone, moist ribs.

  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    chainsmoker,
    I do my ribs at about 325 indirect for about 5 1/2 hours. My rub is Wild Willie's Number One-derful which doesn't have too much sugar. I sauce them the last 45 minutes or so. I put my drip pan (filled with apple cider) on 3 fire bricks so the drip pan doesn't get the direct heat either. While the ribs do look black, they are not burnt or overly crispy. If you are going to Eggfest I will be doing them there so you can get a look at my setup.
    JimW

  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    JimW,
    BTW, I don't use foil at any time. When I put the ribs on initially, I use soaked wood chips. This keeps the initial dome temp down to around 175 or so. I then let it slowly build up to the target 325. This takes about an hour and a half to get there. I hope this helps.
    JimW

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